"Our school is called Inokura Elementary School. It is a two story building and is painted white. When you go onto the schoolground you can see a great big tree and on the playground there are jungle gyms, soccer goals and a baseball diamond. When we enter the school we walk up the steps to the entrance and the first things that we see are the school shoe cubbies, the faucets and sinks and the boys' and girls' bathrooms. At the shoe cubbies, everyone takes off their shoes and puts them in their own cubby and then puts on rubber room shoes. Whenever we go outside, we put our room shoes back in the cubby and put our own shoes back on.
(Pictures of the entryway cubbies and room shoes left in front of the gymnasium.)
In the left wing of the first floor of the school is the teachers' room where all the teachers have their desks. In the right wing is the first graders' classroom. Our sixth grade class is upstairs at the top of the stairway. First and second grade classrooms are downstairs but third grade through sixth grade are upstairs. Except for fifth grade, there is only one class in each of the grades. Inokura School is considered a small school. Our sixth grade class has 37 students and we have been together in the same class since first grade. This year we have a man teacher.
(Picture of the hallway in front of the first grade classroom.)
Every morning, the sixth graders clean the stairways and the front entryway and put up the flag. During the week we study language, math, science, social studies, music, morals, art and P.E. and on Thursdays we have English. Once a week we do calligraphy. After school we have clubs and student body meetings. Our favorite class is P.E. Right now we are doing jump rope and vaulting. We have a jump rope competition coming up soon.
(Picture of an ikebana arrangement near the shoe cubbies.)
The best thing about our school is that the playground is very big and we can play a lot. Inokura school doesn't have that many students (193) but we are all good friends and very, very cheerful. We think we are very lucky to live in the natural surroundings of Nikko."
(Ryutaro, Atsuki and Akane.)
Hmmm. What do you think? I could have started teaching them about an introduction, a body of a composition and a conclusion but I'm their English teacher, not their language teacher. I'll print out this blog post for each of them and hopefully one of them will one day be inspired to put more of their thoughts down in writing.
(And by the way, though somewhat on the quiet side, all three of them are very good students. They often come to my house early and end up helping me cook dinner or do some small chore for me. Sometimes I think they learn more English that way than when we open up our books and notebooks and "study".